The amount of stress built up in preparing, experiencing, and recovering from a natural disaster can be a difficult feat to overcome.
Hurricane Sandy has left thousands of Americans in its path at a loss; a loss of power, a home, or a loved one. Dealing with the anxiety left behind can be overwhelming, but you are not alone. Mental health experts believe that this type of emotional distress is common and even healthy.
Richard Heaps, a clinical psychologist and professor at Brigham Young University, believes the grief experienced after a disaster is a normal emotional behavior.
“It’s OK to mourn losses,” Heaps said. “It’s not an abnormal reaction, but healthy and appropriate.”
Heaps and his colleague Melissa Bryner, the director of Terrorism and Disaster Programs at the UCLA/Drake University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress provide steps on managing stress after a disaster.
1. Stay connected to others-Heaps and Bryner believe that it is best to avoid isolating yourself by staying connected to other people. When dealing with such strong emotions, they recommend finding comfort in relationships rather than withdrawing. When worrying about family members and friends, they advise that you maintain consistent contact to feel assured that they are okay. Regular contact can be as convenient as sending a text message or using social media.
2. Operate self-care and get back to a routine-Bryner strongly recommends taking the time to rest before jumping back into a hectic work schedule. They believe overworking can often suppress and mask the emotional stress. This involves eating well and getting enough sleep. Heaps and Bryner also suggest getting back into old routines that can help you move forward.
3. Tell your story– The experts said that telling your story to friends and family orally or through the written word can provide healing. They believe that talking or journaling about the experience can develop understanding which aids the moving on process.
4. Honor other ways of coping- While one method of coping may ease or speed the healing process for you, the experts recognize that it may not work for another. Heaps and Bryner believe each individual reacts and responds differently to disasters therefore their process of coping will be just as unique. They also find that the grieving period may vary among people.
5. Limit disaster exposure–Even though there are constant updates and stories about the disaster, Heaps and Bryner suggest limiting the amount of time used watching the news, posting pictures, or reading social media posts about the events. They find that it has the tendency to open old wounds that can stifle the healing process.
6. Discover and practice meditation-When a moment seems to be overwhelming or the anxiety starts to build, Heaps and Bryner suggest using meditation methods such as deep breathing or praying that can have calming effects. They also recommend using music or self-talking to assure yourself that things are OK now and you are safe.
7. Extend a helping hand-Heaps and Bryner believe providing service to others can be a therapeutic activity. They feel that helping someone else move forward can also aid your own progress.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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